Northeastern Section - 53rd Annual Meeting - 2018

Paper No. 47-4
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM


WILDEY Jr., Robert A. and GUYETTE, Aaron, VHB, 40 IDX Drive, Building 100, Suite 200, South Burlington, VT 05403

As with many of the roads and bridges that were damaged in the wake of Tropical Storm Irene in August 2011, Kelly Stand Road in Sunderland, Vermont occupies a narrow valley that was carved through the Green Mountains by the Roaring Branch Brook, a high-quality trout stream that is tributary to the Battenkill River. Both the road and the brook were significantly damaged by the effects of the storm. The road was completely impassible – a bridge and sections of the roadway were entirely washed out, and other sections were deeply buried beneath timber debris and rock deposited by floodwaters. The cut banks and massive sediment load generated by the storm filled in pools and significantly altered the in-stream channel structure.

Water quality and fisheries habitat were an important consideration in the design and construction process undertaken to restore access through this part of the Green Mountain National Forest. Rather than reconstructing the roadway along the same alignment, potentially setting the stage for future failures, the alignment was adjusted where possible to set it back farther from the brook. This adjustment was made possible by ledge removal, which had the additional benefit of providing aggregate and stone that could be used for rebuilding and armoring the roadway. In addition, boulders harvested on-site were used to construct in-stream features such as rock weirs and cross vanes. These features help to protect the roadway embankment by directing the brook’s erosive forces away from locations where the bank was reconstructed and serve to accelerate the restoration of the channel’s structure and habitat features.

This presentation provides a summary of how infrastructure designs can better accommodate and serve the natural environment, incorporating features that promote water quality and fisheries and minimize the potential risk from future flood events.

  • GSA Kelley Stand.pdf (8.5 MB)